The JRC has been awarded by the European Space Agency (ESA) as one of the first research groups to achieve Galileo-only positioning by collecting and processing signals from the first four Galileo In-Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites.
Galileo, the European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), is in its IOV phase: four satellites are currently available for computing the user position. The four Galileo IOV satellites were launched in 2011 and 2012, and became fully operational on 12th March 2013 when they first transmitted a valid navigation message enabling real-time Galileo-only positioning.
The JRC has been continuously analysing Galileo signals since early 2012, when a permanent GNSS monitoring station was installed on the Ispra site (Italy). In particular, a professional GNSS receiver has been used for collecting Galileo data, which have then been analysed using internally developed software. The JRC was able to compute Galileo position fixes before 12th March 2013 using a combination of Galileo measurements and precise navigation data obtained from the International GNSS Service (IGS). On 12th March 2013, the first day that Galileo real-time data became available, the JRC was ready to compute the first Galileo-only position fixes.
In March 2014, on the anniversary of Galileo’s historic first position fix, ESA decided to award certificates to the first 50 groups who collected signals from the four IOV satellites and performed their own fixes.
More information on ESA certification of the first Galileo position fixes.